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Media statistics > Cinema: international > India: cinemas by province

India: cinemas 1921-1927
In 1927 a committee was formed to investigate the cinema industry in India and to make recommendations. The report contained a statistical section from which these tables are derived.


Cinemas by province 1921-1927
                       
    reported during enquiry 1927      distribution list
province population 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 prior* permanent seasonal
Bombay 19.35m 54 52 53 54 75 75 76 83 77 ..
Bengal 46.70m 14 14 14 15 22 24 30 31 26 3
Madras 42.32m 14 15 17 22 34 36 40 50 43 3
United Provinces 45.38m 11 18 23 33 33 38 39 45 28 11
Punjab 20.69m 14 24 21 21 29 32 35 28 22 14
Central Provinces/Berar 13.91m 2 4 6 11 17 18 18 23 15 ..
Bihar/Orissa 34.00m 1 2 3 3 6 8 12 12 13 ..
Assam 7.61m 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 6 3 ..
North-West Frontier 2.25m 4 4 5 6 7 7 10 8 10 1
Delhi 0.49m 6 6 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 3
Burma 13.21m 27 31 40 48 57 64 80 60 58 2
total   148 171 188 219 286 309 346 350 298 37
In Cantonments not included in the above provinces .. 11 ..
total .. 309 ..

*prior: number of cinemas reported in 1927 by provincial governments prior to the enquiry

Explanation.—Three versions of the 1927 figures are given above. Of these the figures taken from the Distribution List (printed in Volume IV of the Evidence) are probably the most nearly correct. Apart from permanent cinemas which are open all the year round there are also 'seasonal' cinemas (generally in hill stations) which are open for part of the year only, and a number of halls where oinemn exhibitions are occasionally given. It is possible that some of the last class may have been included in the earlier figures, There are also about 12 privately owned regimental cinemas which are not included in the above figures. The Distribution List is a list of the cinemas in India, showing the seating accommodation and other particulars, compiled from information collected by the Provincial Governments at the request of the Committee.

Travelling cinemas by province 1921-1927
                 
  number licences issued for travelling cinemas
province 1927 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927
Bombay 5 .. 4 2 4 4 15 19
Bengal 36 .. 11 7 20 58 71 152
Madras 26 13 23 26 23 31 47 63
United Provinces 4 2 3 8 9 17 18 34
Punjab 20 19 19 39 37 33 34 39
Central Provinces/Berar 9 .. 2 8 6 12 16 21
Bihar/Orissa 6 1 .. .. 2 3 6 18
Assam 5 2 1 2 3 2 5 8
North-West Frontier .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Delhi .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Burma 5 .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
total 116 37 63 92 104 160 212 367

Explanation.—The above [annual] figures were furnished bv the Provincial Governments and relate to the exhibition-licence which (in accordance with section 3 of the Cinematograph Act) must be obtained at each place where an exhibition is given by a travelling cinema. The figure of tbe licences issued in Burma prior to 1927 is not available. No information regarding the number of licences issued in the North- West Frontier Province and Delhi was obtainable. It was reported, however, that there were no travelling cinemas in those two Provinces.

India: cinemas showing Indian and imported films 1927
       
  number of cinemas that show
province imported only Indian only both
Bombay 19 4 53
Bengal 11 .. 13
Madras .. .. 32
United Provinces 6 .. 16
Punjab 9 .. 13
Central Provinces/Berar 1 .. 13
Bihar/Orissa 4 .. 7
Assam 2 .. 1
North-West Frontier 4 .. 3
Delhi .. .. 2
Burma 8 8 Burmese
3 Indian
39
total 64 15 192
all cinemas .. 11 ..
total   271  

Explanation.—Out of 271 cinemas regarding which particulars were available, 64 have been reported as exhibiting imported films exclusively- There is no doubt that the correct figure is larger. Of the total of 309 cinemas 66 are in cantonments. There are several cinemas in each of the big cities which are devoted exclusively to imported films, Taking also into account hill stations and cinemas in certain European institutes and clubs the number which show imported films exclusively can scarcely be less than 100

Source: Report of the Indian Cinematograph Committee 1927-28 [0083]


Cinema statistics index

Page updated 15 January 2010